Resposible Tourism

PORINI SAFARI CAMPS: Exclusive Eco-Camps in Private Conservancies

Our aim is to work together with rural landowners and communities living alongside Protected Areas with the objective of running a viable business that enables the community to derive benefits in return for conserving wildlife and the indigenous habitat.

The Porini Camps are exclusive eco-friendly tented camps that have no permanent structures and accommodate a maximum of 12 guests. The camps consists of 6 spacious tents, comfortably furnished, lighted with solar power, with water-saving safari showers and flush toilets. Other than the Kenyan camp manager, head chef and head guide, all other staff are from the local community and guests have the opportunity to interact and learn about them and their culture. There are no other mini-vans in the conservancy, allowing guests to enjoy a unique experience compared to traditional mass-tourist lodges and camps.

Our Porini Camps are run and maintained with the conservation of the environment at the forefront. We have a written environmental policy in regards to water, land, energy, solid waste and sewage which is adhered to by the camp management. The numbers of tourist visitors are being limited to retain the wild and unspoilt nature of the area and to minimise the impact on the environment. During their stay our guests have various opportunities to learn about the local Maasai people and how the Conservancy and Porini Camps' goals are aligned with theirs. Maasai warriors escort guests on a walk in the conservancy where they can learn about how the various indigenous animals and plants are used by the community and how their way of life is intertwined with their surroundings.

We pride ourselves in having highly qualified safari guides and they enhance the experience by educating the guests about the flora, fauna and people of the surrounding areas. Guests are taken on day and night game drives in our custom built open-sided 4x4's. In the evening they are taken to a scenic spot, with a view of Mt Kilimanjaro, to enjoy a drink while watching the sun go down. A night game drive is taken on the way back to camp, giving guests the opportunity to see many of the elusive nocturnal animals.
As a result of the community receiving a direct benefit from wildlife there has been a change in attitude towards the concept of wildlife conservation. The community members have given their positive support to conservation and there is no snaring or harassing of wildlife. The members see the wildlife as a resource which belongs to them and are enthusiastic about encouraging wildlife to move into their Conservancy.

Our first conservancy, and model for the subsequent ones, was established in the late 90s at Selenkay and where we established the Amboseli Porini Camp. The Camp and conservancy currently employ over 50 members from the community with take-home wages significantly higher than the country average. In 2006 the conservancy has had over 800 guests The Group Ranch has been receiving regular quarterly payments of the lease without delays since the start of the project. Bednight fees and visitor entry fees have increased greatly this year as a result of improving tourism and all payments are received promptly every month. Over USD 25,000 per year is now flowing to the Group Ranch account with no associated costs and a further over USD 70,000 a year is going to the community in wages.

Previously, the Maasai at Selenkay were entirely dependent upon their livestock. In recent decades they have lost much of their traditional seasonal grazing areas outside the Group Ranch. They're no longer able to range over all their historic communal areas incl